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  • Day1

    Es hät agfange

    October 19, 2019 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    Nach me regnerische frühe start in Tag (tagwach isch am 03:45 gsi) bin ich guet im warme Sizilie ahcho.

    3 Facts als bewis das i in Italie bin: 1. d‘Mensche da hend nie stress
    2. D‘Strasse hend eis Schlagloch nach em andere
    3. Als Fuessgänger d‘Strasse überquere isch lebensgföhrlich

    Nach knapp 26‘000 Schritt gnüss ich ezt chli mis Bett😴Read more

  • Day17


    June 28, 2019 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 30 °C

    Mit Catania freunden wir uns nicht auf Anhieb an. Zwar ist unser Hotel für die Nacht rasch gefunden. Es ist nicht gerade das, was das charmante Foto auf der Buchungsplattform versprochen hat. Statt der abgebildeten Villa am Meer gibt's Tankstelle und ein muffiges Zimmer. Nachdem wir uns erfrischt haben, wollen wir mit dem Auto ins Zentrum, ehe wir uns auf den Flughafen begeben. Doch irgendwie ist es verflixt, die Gegend, in die uns das Navi bringt schaut weder nach Zentrum aus, noch animiert sie uns zum Aussteigen. Wir begeben uns also auf die Suche und parken Nahe der Via Etnea, die schnurgerade zum Domplatz führen soll. Wir gehen also motiviert los, um das Zentrum zu erkunden. Wir bewundern das römische Amphietheater, biegen dann aber ab, weil wir einen anderen Platz sehen und verpassen den Dom haarscharf. Na, dann eben nicht, wir wollen noch ein Getränk in einer der Bars und müssen ohnehin auf den Flughafen, um die Hannah abzuholen. Sie hat sich spontan entschlossen, aus Wien nachzukommen. Wir werfen also wieder unser Navi an, das uns aus dem Gewirr der Gassen und Einbahnen bringen soll. Die schnellste Route führt direkt über .... den Domplatz! Fein, jetzt wissen wir, wo er liegt.
    Nach der glücklichen Ankunft von Hannah am Flughafen von Catania - zum Glück finden wir sie gleich im Gewühl der Cluburlauber - wollen wir zum Abendessen. Michael hat schon zuvor ein schickes Fischrestaurant ausgemacht. Das finden wir auch gleich, weil wir uns diesmal lieber auf Michaels hervorragenden Orientierungssinn als auf's Navi verlassen. Als wir am kleinen Fischerhafen ankommen, finden wir sogar noch einen Parkplatz im Gewühl von Autos (klaro, es hilft uns ein Einweiser). Im Hafen sind Tische, Sessel und ein Grillwagen aufgebaut. Der Grill hat in Vitrinen absolut frischen Fisch, Fleisch, Würste, Gemüse ausgelegt. Uns wird sofort ein Platz am Wasser angeboten. Da überlegen nicht lang, lassen Restaurant Restaurant sein und nehmen Platz. Gleich kriegen wir ein weißes Tischtuch (aus Papier), Besteck (aus Plastik), Wein (kommt aus der Kunststoffflasche, schmeckt aber besser als der teure aus der Pizzeria in Regio). Die Miesmuscheln schmecken hervorragend frisch, das Brot, der Salat alles bestens. Wir versöhnen uns mit Catania ...
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  • Day8


    May 27, 2013 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

    Catania is one of the bigger cities in sicily. A pretty town which was a good example for the italian lifestyle.
    Have you ever seen faster boats than that, from the Sicilian financial guards? Wonder why?

  • Day53

    Catania, Sicily - First Impressions

    October 21, 2018 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

    It was a bit of an overcast day today as we left Taormina to Catania. There have been some severe storms in Sicily leading up to our time here and some of the major roads have been cut off. Due to that and Brad being over driving we decided to cancel our car and accommodation on the other side of Sicily and extended our time in Catania an extra two nights. A bit less stressful.

    We seemed to be a bit luckier today with the trains running on time and great seats for the trip. And even waiting at the Taormina train station was pleasant as it was a beautiful old building with lots to admire and photograph. The poshest train station we have been in so far.

    Arriving in Catania made me second guess my decision to stay here. As we drove towards our accommodation, the streets were littered with rubbish, bottles and vomit and graffiti covered the buildings. (I must admit I did like some of the better street art pieces, it’s the trashy graffiti that I dislike). Add the overcast sky, it made for a very gloomy first impressions. And the entrance to our accommodation was on one of these streets. I didn’t feel quite safe when we first arrived.

    However, once we got into our apartment, Casasicula, we saw the better side of Catania. Our host did not speak English so he arranged for an English speaking friend to greet us, show us the apartment and to give us ideas of what to see in the city. She was very welcoming, and the apartment is beautiful. I love the shower; it plays music while you wash. Hilarious that someone would think that is essential in a holiday rental. Our bedroom balcony looks over the Piazza Universita, and it looks clean, graffiti and rubbish free, and inviting. The rain set in as we arrived at our apartment, so we unpacked and relaxed until the bad weather had passed over before heading out to see what Catania has to offer. I’m still not sure what to expect.
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  • Day56

    Fera o' Luna Mercato, Catania

    October 24, 2018 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

    For our last full day in Catania we decided to visit the local market, Fera o’ Luni, which is the oldest outdoor market in the city, and has been held in Piazza Carlo Alberto since the 1830s. Originally held on the first day of the week, it is now open every morning from Monday to Friday and all-day Saturday. And this market is massive, it has long outgrown the Piazza and now covers the streets on either side. I was quite excited to see a local market, thinking it would be so very different to ours at home, but I was disappointed. Most of the stalls sell cheap items from China, t-shirts, gadgets, tacky toys, fake watches and with stall after stall after stall all selling the same stuff, it isn’t very interesting. Closer to the Piazza are the food, vegetable, fruit and cheese stalls and the flea market stalls with piles of clothes and boxes of shoes, tables weighed down with materials. It feels like a grubby version of our markets at home and really wasn’t worth the time or effort to walk through it. What did amaze me was the sheer size of the market and even with a bit of elevation, photographs do to show how expansive the sea of market umbrellas is.

    The good thing about visiting the market is it took us to another side of Catania, so once we made our way through the markets, we explored the streets on this side of town. As we walked up one of the main streets this morning, we noticed the road had been closed off and as we got to the corner we discovered why. Someone had strung a protest sign on the side of the building and there was obviously a threat of someone jumping or falling as below was the big blow-up cushion the fire-fighters put out to stop people from jumping or falling to their deaths. Of course we stopped with all the other rubberneckers to try and work out what was going on but as the situation seemed to be ongoing, we continued on to see what other sights Catania had to offer.

    Our walk today took us past the Roman Amphitheatre of Catania, built in the 2nd century AD and with only a small section of the structure now visible below ground level, it really wasn’t that impressive. Poor Catania, we have seen so many amazing historic sites so far on this trip that Catania has a lot to be compared to. If this was our first stop in Italy and not our last, we would have been more amazed and impressed.

    Next to the Amphitheatre is the Palazzo Tezzano, started in 1709 on land owned by the count and physician Nicholas Tezzano, it was later donated to the city of Catania and transformed into a hospital between 1720 and 1727. Today it houses financial institutions, shops and cafes.

    On the western side of the Amphitheatre is the Chiesa San Biagio, also known as the church of Sant’Agata alla Fornace. This church stands on the site where the furnace in which Sant’Agata suffered martyrdom was located. In fact, after being locked up in prison for not wanting to adjure her faith, she as first subjected to torture with fire and then her breasts were removed. They certainly were a barbaric people if you did not agree with their religion.
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  • Day13

    Catania, Sicily, part 2

    November 9, 2016 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

    As we headed north through the city in search of a restroom, I told my sister the story of how I discovered Nossa Familia espresso bar in Portland. The story is that I was in search of a restroom in Northwest Portland and decided to find a coffee house for that purpose. A little googling led me to the highly recommended Nossa Familia, and I walked in with enthusiasm, only to find that it had no tables and no restroom. I ordered a coffee anyway, and it turned out to be the best cup of coffee ever and that's how I found my favorite coffee place.

    So, I told this story to Kathryn as we were using to find the nearest public restroom. We followed the map on my phone to the Greco Roman Theater where there was supposedly a public w/c, but when we walked in and inquired, the women at the ticket booth seemed a little perplexed by the idea. They asked (in Italian--there's much less English available here than in the other cities we've been to this trip) if we were buying admission. How Kathryn and I looked at each other, and looked at the bit of Roman ruins that we could see from the entrance, and I said, "This might be another favorite coffee shop situation. I think we should do it."

    And that's how we spent the next 1 1/2 hours exploring this fascinating, relatively recent archeological excavation. Houses had been built on top of the ruins throughout history, so the excavation was like decluttering on a grand scale, figuring out what was worth keeping and what had to go. Kept: parts of an 18th century house, walls from a 17th century house, Roman theater, Greek base structure, and artifacts found in the excavation of the site.
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  • Day11


    September 29, 2017 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    We arrived here by train from a very thundery Siracusa and had a nice walk from the station dodging around piles of what seems to be the region's main product - dog shit.

    Catania itself was not much chop, but the following day we did a great trip up 3,000 metres of Mount Etna.

    It would be good to say how spectacular the view was, but in fact it was completely foggy, blowing a gale and with the wind chill would have been well under zero. Rather incredibly, though, there were people in shorts, runners and even a few suicidal cyclists making their way up and down the muddy volcanic trails.

    Strangely enough we enjoyed our trip around one of the craters, wind burning our faces, fingers and toes numb and unable to see much in any case. It was quite surreal and - once we were back inside the bus - exhilarating.

    Then for a change we spent our last day in Taormina, an hour north by bus.

    We thought it was a one-attraction town, but what an attraction! The Greek Theatre, perched off to the side of a most touristic town, is well preserved, substantial and in a stunning setting overlooking the Mediterranean. We climbed over, up and through it, all along with a ship load of cruise passengers clogging every street, gelateria, and souvenir shop in town.

    In all, there were plenty of superlatives from our few days in Catania, our last Sicilian destination.
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  • Day112

    Catania und Silvester

    December 31, 2018 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 12 °C

    Auch Catania, die zweitgrößte Stadt Siziliens, wollte von uns besichtigt werden. Da wir die Silvestereinkäufe bereits erledigt hatten, war heute noch genug Zeit dafür. Leider spielte die liebe Sonne nicht so richtig mit und so durchstreiften wir das Zentrum unter einem Wolkenhimmel bei gelegentlichen Schauern.
    Dennoch hat Catania einige schöne Ecken mit allerlei historischen Bauwerken, wie zum Beispiel dem Elefantenbrunnen. Den traditionellen Fischmarkt werden wir auch so schnell nicht vergessen, mit seinem einmaligen Geruch und allerlei Matsch und totem Fisch auf dem Boden.

    Unseren Silvesterabend verbrachten wir ganz gemütlich in unserer Wohnung mit leckeren Burgern, Pantomime, Kapseln, Gesangskünsten und Uno. Das Feuerwerk der Nachbarorte konnten wir glücklicherweise vom Hinterhof unserer Ferienwohnung aus beobachten, da wir vor lauter singen die Zeit vergaßen.

    Es ist schön an Silvester Freunde bzw. Familie um sich zu haben.

    Tag 113: Den Neujahrstag verbrachten wir ganz entspannt und gemütlich in unserer Ferienwohnung. Während Corinna und David einen kleinen Ausflug machten, fingen wir so langsam an unsere Sachen zu richten und Freudolin fit zu machen.

    Am Abend wollten wir als Abschluss nochmal gemeinsam Pizza essen gehen. Jedoch ist Neujahr auch in Italien Feiertag und so fanden wir nach einiger Suche "nur" ein Fischrestaurant. Auch hier konnten wir wieder sehr lecker speisen.
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  • Day7


    September 19, 2019 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

    Unser Fahrer ist begeistert von seiner typisch italienischen Melodie-Hupe und erklärt uns, dass die Hupe für italienische Autofahrer therapeutische Wirkung habe.

    Deshalb kaufe man auf Sizilien den Führerschein in der Apotheke... 😂

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